Ah, transition times. When you have a firm grasp on managing them, they are no problem at all. Your students know the routine, you’re confident in your ability to guide them, and everything flows smoothly. However, when getting a handle on them is proving to be more challenging than not, transition times can be some of the most stressful parts of the day. Knowing how to keep students on track and refocus their attention is part innate skill and part experience. The beginning of the school year can be especially tough for this, so there’s no better time to review some great transition time tactics. Check out the three below to get you started on the road to easy transitions.
How to Make Transition Times Easier
Kindergarten and preschool teachers make good use of the “Clean-up Song” when they want students to transition from one activity to another, but teachers of older students can also use music to help. Introduce a fun, upbeat, 2-3 minute song at the beginning of the school year that is your transition song. When the song comes on, students know that they have until the song is over to move on to the next activity. Need more than one song? Have a playlist of short songs on your mp3 player and use one for each transition time.
Beat the Clock
Make transition times fun with a “beat-the-clock” style game. Set your timer for 2-3 minutes and reward students with an incentive if they are ready to go on to the next activity before the timer goes off. The incentive can be an extra minute of free time at the end of the week or a point for the day’s challenge. If the students complete all of the day’s transitions before the timer goes off, have a special incentive for them for them.
What to do during those extra moments before your class heads in to the gymnasium for P.E. Instead of asking them to stand quietly with nothing to do, create a class story that everyone contributes to. Begin by starting with a generic sentence and have each student in line add a sentence to the story. Institute as many or as few rules to the activity as needed.
What are some of your favorite transition time activities? Share with us by leaving a comment below!